Book Review: The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe
(Started: September 17, 2015; Finished: October 19, 2015)

With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach. 
Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems. 
England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny. 
Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper — a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves. 
Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time. (From Goodreads)

Review: 2 stars
Publication Date: April 02, 2013
Source: Bantam via Netgalley
Shelf: Goodreads, Shelfari

As it was set in the 1900s, I can't help but feel excited to read this book. I love historical fiction because of the setting, the etiquette, and the clothes. It was also mixed with a bit of fantasy which is quite new to me. So I gave my curiosity a chance.

But you might have wondered why I gave it 2 stars. I guess despite how promising the plot of a novel is, there are still a lot of factors to consider before it could be a great read. It was good enough for me to understand, but it didn't hold my interest that long. I think the plot could have moved faster, but it got a bit draggy as I go through the mid-part of the book until the ending. I feel like the descriptions were too long and it was not balanced with enough dialogues. It had too much mind speak of the protagonist that I want to tell her, 'enough!', and just let the storyline move on and progress.

With that said, I feel like it lingered too much on the descriptions that the plot did not hit the points it should've hit. There were times that I feel it should've climaxed but instead it went to a new low. Also, what I think killed the buzz for me was that I sort of got weirded out with dragons and stars. Maybe, there was a basis for this but I wasn't familiar with it. I wish the insta-love that happened between Eleanore and Jesse happened also to the plot.

Overall, there's a lot of room for improvement so book 2 better be good! The Sweetest Dark is not something I will strongly recommend, but it's not so bad. Based on the reviews I saw on Goodreads, I believe this book is an acquired taste.

Happy Reading everyone!

Love lots, xx

Style Reader

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